Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 7:30 p.m.
Organ Recital | Monica Berney
A true star among young classical musicians, Monica Berney, née Czausz, has made a name for herself as one of the finest organists on the scene today. Known for her technical mastery, effortless musicality, and engaging stage presence, she has been inspiring audiences from coast to coast. Early in her career she received first prize in numerous competitions, including the 2015 American Guild of Organists (AGO) Regional Competition for Young Organists (Southwest Region), 2015 Schweitzer Competition (Young Professionals’ Division), 2013 William C. Hall Competition, 2012 L. Cameron Johnson Competition, and 2011 Oklahoma City University Competition. At age 22, she was recognized by The Diapason magazine as one of the top 20 organists under 30.
Ms. Berney has performed at significant venues across the United States, including Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Merrill Auditorium in Portland (Maine,) the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Spivey Hall in Morrow (Georgia). She has headlined at prominent festivals, including New York City AGO’s Presidents’ Day Conference, the Eccles Festival in Salt Lake City, the Reuter Organ Festival in Albuquerque, and the International Philip Lorenz Keyboard Festival (Fresno, California). Monica’s performances have been broadcast on radio stations nationwide – including Pipedreams, WRTI Philadelphia, 91.7 Houston, and KTRU Rice Radio – and her YouTube channel boasts well over 1.5 million views by organ fans around the globe.
Her Regional AGO Convention recitals include North Central (Minneapolis, 2023), Southeast (Aiken, South Carolina, 2023), Mid-Atlantic (southern New Jersey, 2019), Southwest (Dallas, 2017), and Northeast (joint National Convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Montréal, 2017). Her National AGO appearances include the online 2019 Organfest and the 2016 National Convention in Houston, where she featured both at Evensong (Christ Church Cathedral) and as a “Rising Star,” where she gave “a fabulous performance that displayed artistic mastery far beyond her years” (The American Organist). She has performed at several National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society, in Minneapolis/St. Paul (2017), Philadelphia (2016) where she “played with great flair” (The American Organist), and western Massachusetts (2015). She also performed at the 2016 East Texas Pipe Organ Festival where The Tracker reported, “this young lady just blew us all away.”
Monica graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music in 2019 with an Artist Diploma in Organ Performance and a Performer’s Certificate in Harpsichord Performance, where she studied with Alan Morrison and Leon Schelhase, respectively. In 2017, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas, where she completed a five-year combined Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree program in Organ Performance. At Rice she studied with renowned professor Ken Cowan and, upon graduation, was awarded the Undergraduate Distinction in Research and Creative Work.
Ms. Berney was appointed Director of Music at St. Paul’s Parish, K Street (Washington, D.C.) in August 2023, where she served as Interim Director of Music the year prior. Her robust leadership of this celebrated music program has already generated ripples of excitement across church music spheres. Prior positions held include Director of Music and Artistic Ministries at King of Glory Lutheran Church (Dallas, Texas), Cathedral Organist at Houston’s Christ Church Cathedral under the leadership of acclaimed director Robert Simpson, and Assistant Organist at The Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena in New York City.
Further information can be found at: monicaberney.com
Monica Berney is under the exclusive management of Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.